Dialysis is a type of treatment given to people with kidney failure to help its function of remove waste and fluid from the body and help maintain the inner environment of the body and also to maintain the level of the minerals in the right quantities that the body needs.
Types Of Dialysis
Dialysis is of two types namely; peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis.
Hemodialysis vs. Peritoneal Dialysis
- Peritoneal Dialysis
In peritoneal dialysis, your blood is cleaned by inserting a special fluid into the abdomen in other to absorb waste from the blood that goes through the small vessels found in the abdominal cavity and drains out of the body.
This procedure involves a catheter being placed near the navel on the stomach and a dialysis solution that contains sugar, salt, and other additives form a bag into your abdomen which soaks up the waste in the body and then is drained into another bag. This process can be done using a machine or done doing it manually with the hand.
In hemodialysis, the blood goes through a tube connected from your body to and the machine filters the blood in the machine by passing it through a filter called a dialyzer.
The blood is cleaned by the removal of the waste product of the metabolic processes of the body and extra fluid. After the blood has been successfully cleaned, it is passed back into the body.
WHAT IS HEMODIALYSIS?
Hemodialysis is the filtration of blood using a machine. It is an advanced treatment of failure.
Hemodialysis is a type of dialysis that involves the use of a machine in filtering waste from your blood. It also helps in controlling the blood pressure in your body and maintaining the right level of minerals and water level in the blood.
WHY IS HEMODIALYSIS DONE?
Dialysis is done when the kidney has failed to carry out its function of maintaining an ideal internal environment for the body by removing waste product in the blood and maintaining the right quantity of minerals that are needed by the body for its metabolic processes.
When the kidney can no longer do that, the accumulation of this waste in the blood could create a toxin environment, hence the necessity of dialysis.
Certain factors would affect the choice of using this type of dialysis and they include:
- The rate of your kidney function is determined by the glomerular rate.
- Your medical history, signs, and symptoms.
- Your personal preference.
- Your finances and health insurance, etc.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A HEMODIALYSIS?
Hemodialysis is usually recommended for people with low glomerular filtration rate, kidney cysts or polycystic kidney disease, the inflammation of blood vessels that have affected the kidney, etc.
Kidney failure which is the major reason for dialysis could result from complications of the surgery, and the side effect of some medications, hence, the need for dialysis.
TYPES OF HEMODIALYSIS
The types of hemodialysis include:
- In-Center Hemodialysis
This type of hemodialysis is mostly carried out in hospitals or dialysis centers and involves more sophisticated machines with longer sessions of approximately 3-5 hours.
- Daily (Home) Hemodialysis
Home dialysis is carried out in the comfort of the house and does not require complicated machines. It can be carried out more frequently and every day and in shorter sessions.
However, you will need some knowledge of how the machine operates before doing it and with need the help of a professional to guide you till you can master how to operate it.
HEMODIALYSIS SIDE EFFECTS & COMPLICATIONS
Hemodialysis is a very safe procedure for kidney complications. However, there could be some complications and they include:
- It could lead to low blood pressure especially for people with diabetes which could result in shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, etc.
- Muscle cramps may be experienced after hemodialysis has been carried out.
- You may experience itchy skin
- You may experience insomnia which is difficulty in sleeping
- Anemia may result due to not having enough red blood cells due to the inability of the kidney to produce erythropoietin which serves as a precursor for the production of red blood cells.
- Bone disease and infection may occur due to the inability of the kidney to help in the production of vitamin D which plays a vital role in calcium absorption
- Development of infection, narrowing of the blood vessels at the site of access
You will need to take several weeks to prepare for your first procedure. You will need to undergo a minor surgery in which your surgeon creates an access point where blood could safely be removed and returned to your body before the hemodialysis procedure starts.
You will need to take care of this site of access to prevent the development of infection. The access point will need time to heal before you the hemodialysis process begins.
Hemodialysis procedures can be carried out in the hospital, a dialysis center, and at home. You may need it daily or a minimum of three times weekly. This is dependent on the hours each session you are taking last.
Before the Procedure,
Your weight, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate will be taken. Then your access site where the blood will leave your body and also return after the process will be opened and cleansed in case of infection.
During the Procedure,
You will be inserted with two needles are inserted into your arm through the access site and taped so that they can stay secure. These needles are connected to a flexible plastic tube–the hemodialysis catheter, which is connected to the dialyzer.
The dialyzer receives the blood through one of the needles, filters the blood an ounce at a time and then the filtered blood is taken back into the body through the other needle. You will be asked to sit or recline on a chair as the procedure is ongoing.
Your health caregivers will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure during the procedures. When the whole process is over, the needles will be removed, the access site is cleaned and closed and your weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate checked. after that, you will be free to go home.
You may only be needed hemodialysis for a while if your kidney was only injured until your kidney gets better. However, if it due to the low glomerular filtration rate, the chances of your kidney recovering are slim and you may likely depend on hemodialysis for a longer time.
You doctor will recommend you carry out some test at least once a month in other to monitor your progress. Such test includes blood tests to measure urea reduction rate, total area clearance, blood chemistry evaluation and assessment counts, measurement of the blood flow from your access point during hemodialysis.
- Does my food affect my hemodialysis treatment?
The proper meal could help improve your dialysis and over health by providing the nutrients needed by the body to repair itself. You also need to be careful with the rate you consume foods rich in protein, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus
- How much time does each treatment take?
Atypical hemodialysis will last at 3hours. however, this is dependent on some factors such as how much waste your body has accumulated, your weight, your height, glomerular filtration rate, etc
- Why do I need to weigh myself when I am on hemodialysis?
Your weight will be constantly monitored during and after the procedure as there could be extra water retention in between the hemodialysis session. Hence, your weight is closely monitored.
- What should I consider when choosing a hemodialysis diet plan?
You need to consider your routine and how it fits into your treatment such as what type of hemodialysis are you considering, what foods contain high levels of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein so you can minimize the rate at which you consume them.
- Can I travel while on hemodialysis?
You may travel if you have made an adequate plan for the journey. some dialysis machines are small enough to carry around. However, you will need some help especially from someone with knowledge of how the machine works